Western Australia Emden Medal : Surgeon-Lieutenant A C R Todd, HMAS Sydney

Accession Number REL31585
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Silver
Maker Unknown
Place made Australia: Western Australia
Date made c 1915-1918
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Medal featuring, on the obverse, an image of HMAS Sydney under sail above which are the words 'TO COMMEMMORATE THE VICTORY OVER THE EMDEN' and underneath 'HMAS SYDNEY / 9th Nov 1914'. The designer's initials (AW) appear immediately under the waves. On the reverse is a victory wreath, at the apex of which is a swan over the legend 'PRESENTED / BY THE PEOPLE OF / WESTERN AUSTRALIA TO / SURGEON A C R TODD'. Todd's name is engraved. The medal is provided with a suspension loop.

History / Summary

Presented to Surgeon-Lieutenant Arthur Charles Robert Todd of Tamworth, NSW, one of two surgeons aboard HMAS Sydney during its engagement with the German raider SMS Emden on 9 November 1914.

Of that action, the Official History states that the two surgeons worked continuously 'from 6 pm on Tuesday up to 4.30 am on Wednesday' and returned to the theatre after a short breakfast, tending to both Emden casualties (at least 70) and Sydney wounded for almost 40 hours non-stop.

Todd, born on 23 June 1889, enlisted in 1914, was appointed surgeon-on-probation on 17 August 1914 and was transferred to HMAS Sydney on 25 October 1914. He remained with the Sydney until 10 June 1916 and was placed on the retired list on 30 November 1917. Todd's 85 page manuscript 'Cruise of HMAS Sydney 1914-1916' is held by the Mitchell Library, Sydney.